News round-up from East Devon and Exeter – including stories from Exmouth, Ottery St Mary and Lympstone.

News round-up from East Devon and Exeter – including stories from Exmouth, Ottery St Mary, Lympstone.


An injured windsurfer plus a kite surfer at risk of being swept out to sea were rescued by Exmouth RNLI on Sunday afternoon (October 1).

The inshore lifeboat crew launched at around 2pm after spotting a kite surfer in difficulty off the seafront, who was being swept out to sea.

The inshore lifeboat crew took the woman safely back to shore.

Shortly after, the inshore lifeboat crew was asked by the Coastguard to help two windsurfers in the River Exe – one with an injured foot and the other with a deflated board.

The pair, who had called for help after boarding a moored boat, were picked up in the water close to the River Exe café and taken back to Exmouth Marina.

East Devon

A Victorian carved wooden bird dating back to the 1800s and once kept at a Gothic mansion in East Devon is up for auction.

Bishops Court, in Clyst St Mary, was a Gothic mansion extensively remodelled by William White in 1860-1864 for the Garrett family.

The walnut carving of the bird of prey is going under the hammer as part of the private collection of royal interior decorator and collector Robert Kime, who died last year.

The wooden bird has been in the interior designer’s private collection since September 1994.

The object will go under the hammer next week, and carries an estimate of £2,000-£3,000.

East Devon

The walnut carving of the bird of prey is going under the hammer as part of the private collection of royal interior decorator and collector Robert Kime, who died last year.
Photo: with permission.

It is described by Dreweatts auction house as being circa 1870, probably a newel post finial, the bird with flowing scroll issuing from its beak, shield to the front, standing amid oak leaves and acorns 60cm high, base 18cm diameter.

Robert Kime’s projects included the redecoration of Clarence House and Highgrove for King Charles III, the auctioneers said.

They said the sale was ‘testimony’ to Kime’s ‘passion for history, architecture, restoration, craftsmanship and design’.

“This will be the first and last time that his own works will ever be offered for sale – making it a unique one-off opportunity,” said a spokesperson for  the auction house.


East Devon MP Simon Jupp recently visited the new Royal Marines Charity headquarters at Lympstone Commando Training Centre.

Mr Jupp met the charity’s Chief Operating Officer, Simon Wright, and was given a  tour of the organisation’s new headquarters – the CHAMP building, a £1.4million project completed after 13 weeks of construction in July this year.

Simon Jupp MP, left, and Simon Wright QGM outside the CHAMP Building.
Photo: with permission.

Mr Jupp said: “We owe a great deal to the elite Royal Marines veterans who’ve served our country. I’ve raised the amazing work of The Royal Marines Charity in Parliament on multiple occasions, including with the two Veterans Ministers, and the response is consistent – The Royal Marines Charity carries out invaluable work and the Government will always stand behind them.

“We’re so lucky to have them based in our part of Devon and the new headquarters is a testament to their tireless commitment to those who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe.”

The CHAMP building replaces what was known as the ‘wooden hut’, 80 years old and deemed beyond repair by the Ministry of Defence.

The funding to replace and demolish the former premises was secured through donations from sponsors.


Charity Hospiscare is appealing for volunteers to help out at its Exmouth shops on The Parade and in Exeter Road.

Shop volunteer roles include serving customers, operating the till, creating window displays, sorting donations, preparing clothing for sale, identifying items for the charity’s online shop, replenishing stock and promoting Hospiscare’s lottery.

Linda Wotton, manager at Hospiscare in Exeter Road, said: “We simply couldn’t get by without the support of our incredible shop volunteers, they play such an important role in the Hospiscare family. We are lucky to have such great teams in Exmouth.”

Call into the shops for more details.

Ottery St Mary

A former bakery needing complete renovation in Ottery St Mary has sold at auction for £148,000.

Brook House, in Silver Street, was among 180 lots in the latest auction held by Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers.

The freehold property, offered jointly with Hall & Scott, was described by the auctioneers as having a ground floor of two shop units, store room, boot room and a further room used as the former bakery ‘with the old ovens in situ’.

On the first and second floors is a large four-bedroom maisonette, with independent access.

Audrey Smith, senior auction appraiser, said: “This rare opportunity to acquire a spacious period mixed use commercial-residential property near the town centre proved too good to miss, despite it requiring complete renovation.

“It was always likely to appeal to builders seeing the potential for the sub-division of both the commercial and residential elements, subject to all necessary consents being obtainable.”

East Devon

Someone had the dough to buy the former bakery in Ottery.
Photo: with permission.


St John Ambulance’s new electric car has arrived in Exeter as part of a project to replace existing support vehicles across the country.

The new vehicle has been made possible thanks to a ‘generous’ donation from the Medlock Charitable Trust.


One of the new electric cars. Photo: Roo Pitt.

In August 2022, the Medlock Charitable Trust pledged to match the fundraising efforts of St John of up to £1 million, for the charity to buy greener, cleaner, more efficient emergency vehicles, over three years – St John raised almost £130,000 towards the electric cars.

A St John Ambulance spokesperson said: “Exeter is one of the lucky locations to receive an electric vehicle, which will be used in the Devon area as well as areas further afield as and when required, and the teams are delighted to be able to use it.”

Ottery St Mary

Businesses in Ottery St Mary are celebrating reaching the semi-finals of the West Country Women’s Awards 2023.

Nicci Simpson of Devon Eco Boutique is one of six finalists nominated for the Pheonix Award, a category described as ‘identifying a person who has risen from the ashes and been resilient, working hard to help change our lives, communities and the economy for the better’.

Beth Ashfield and Andrea Broadhurst, of Coldharbour Field Kitchen, have been named semi-finalists in The Women In Food & Drink award, to find ‘a woman who has flair and enthusiasm in the hospitality sector of food and drink, demonstrating a very high standard for food, drink, and service’.

The finalists will be announced at the end of October.



Left to Right – Exmouth RNLI Fundraising Team Chair, Des White, Bob Nicholls, Lyn Holmes and Exmouth RNLI Crew, Rory Carrig. Photo: RNLI.

Birthday gifts in the shape of cash donations were presented to Exmouth RNLI by 70-year-old Bob Nicholls.

Bob, pictured here with his wife Lyn, presented the Exmouth lifesavers with £270 after asking family and friends to donate funds to the charity instead of birthday gifts.

The pair handed their donation to Exmouth RNLI volunteer crew, Rory Carrig, where they were given a special tour of the lifeboat station.

Exmouth RNLI said Bob’s  ‘kind and generous donation’ would be used for essential training and equipment for the volunteer lifeboat crews.

East Devon

Creatives in East Devon are invited to apply for a new fund to finance cultural projects, festivals and events.

Applications are open from today, October 2, until November 15, 2023.

Arts and Culture East Devon (ACED) has launched the Creative East Devon Fund, offering ‘discretionary financial support’.

The total funding available is £25,000. The maximum grant amount will be £3,000 and the minimum amount, £500.

The organisers said the project must have finished by March 2024.

Plans are in the pipeline for a second round of funding to be available in the next financial year for longer term projects due to be completed by March 2025.

The money has been made available by the Government, through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

For more details, see here.

East Devon

A story boat event in East Devon.
Photo: with permission.

Community news: A round-up of stories and photos from East Devon, Budleigh and Honiton






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